Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Graduate Assistant with the Law Group of NW Arkansas: Katie Willoughby

We are proud to announce the The Law Group of Northwest Arkansas Graduate Assistantship within the LL.M. Program.

The Law Group of Northwest Arkansas is home to LL.M. Alumni KC Tucker and Kritsy Boehler, who along with partner Gray Weeks were instrumental in making this assistantship a reality.

The Law Group of Northwest Arkansas represents individuals and businesses in all areas of agricultural and food law "from farm to fork." Their website provides examples of the types of work they do for the farm and food sector clients.
[W]e represent large-scale animal agricultural firms as well as farmers and ranchers in lease drafting or disputes, we assist in establishing Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs, and regularly advise clients in matters related to foodborne illness liability. We also represent individuals and businesses in all phases of complex litigation, with a focus on agricultural, food, and environmental issues.
The firm  selected LL.M. Candidate  Katie Willoughby to serve in the graduate assistantship position. Katie recently completed a J.D., from Cumberland School of Law and holds a B.S. in Animal Science (Equine) from Auburn University, cum laude.

We thank the The Law Group for their support of the LL.M. Program and for the mentoring they will provide to Katie.  And, we congratulate Katie for the award. We know she will do a great job.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Food Law Firm Graduate Assistant: Satoko Kato

We are proud to announce that the The Food Law Firm, located in Sag Harbor, New York agreed  to sponsor a Graduate Assistantship in the LL.M. Program. LL.M. Candidate Satoko Kato was selected for this honor.

The Food Law Firm was founded by  LL.M. Alumnus Jason Foscolo. After building a successful practice, Jason brought on his new partner, Lauren Handel also an alumni of our Program. LL.M. Program Affiliated Professor Nicole Civita serves as of counsel to the firm. We are delighted with their success and pleased to have another new connection through the GA sponsorship.

Satko is particularly deserving of this special honor.  She holds a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center where she served on the Georgetown Immigration Law Journal. She holds a B.A. in Law from Sophia University, Tokyo. Satoko is admitted to practice law in New York, most recently serving as Counsel to Shearman & Sterling LLP in New York and Tokyo.  The following excerpt from the Food Law Firm's announcement references some of her many accomplishments.
Satoko Kato has more than ten years of experience working at a top global law firm in New York and Tokyo.  There, she represented multinational corporations in connection with securities offerings, public disclosure and compliance.  She also represented clients in investigations by the Department of Justice in alleged Sherman Act violations. 
An omnivore enthusiastic of good food and drinks, she attended culinary school and interned at a commercial kitchen incubator where she became highly inspired by the energy of food entrepreneurs and the unique food and beverages they are bringing to the market.  In the course of communicating with food entrepreneurs, she felt that there is a market to be served in providing good legal counseling.  She aspires to channel her skills and experience into the food and beverage and agriculture industries.

Friday, October 2, 2015

LL.M. Program Welcomes Valeriya Zayets

Valeriya Zayets
The School of Law was delighted to award a Graduate Assistantship to Ukrainian Lawyer Valeriya Zayets, allowing her to join us as an LL.M. Candidate.  We are delighted to have her with us.

Valeriya holds an LL.B. from Kyiv National Economic University named after Vadym Hetman, and a Master of Laws in Energy Law from Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. Prior to joining the LL.M. Program, Valeriya served as a Law Consultant to the Ukrainian Mining Company, LLC and as a Law Consultant to Privat Bank. She is a Co-founder and member of the Students League branch of Ukrainian Bar Association at Kyiv National Economic University named after Vadym Hetman. She has served in a volunteer capacity as an Independent Legal Assistant to the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine and is keenly interested in the development of the Ukrainian food and agriculture system post-revolution.

In recent years, the LL.M. Program has enhanced its international law curriculum. This expansion has been possible thanks to the extensive international law work of Professor Christopher Kelley and Professor Uche Ewelukwa. This has helped us to attract talented international candidates such as Valeriya.

The globalization of our food system, concerns about global food security, food sovereignty, land tenure, and international intellectual property rights, to name but a few emerging issues, have highlighted the need for more coordinated work. Climate change will only accelerate the urgency of these issues. Valeriya will be working with us to further develop our international food and agriculture curriculum and to explore global food and agriculture initiatives that would link our expertise with more international universities, governments, NGOs, and students.  We are happy to have her assistance and look forward to a great year of work with her.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

RUSLEF Fellow Joins LL.M. Program

We are also delighted to announce our first LL.M. fellow sponsored by the Russia-United States Legal Education Foundation (RUSLEF), Ksenia Petrovets joins us from St. Petersburg, Russia.

RUSLEF supports the development of the rule of law in Russia through educational exchange opportunities with U.S. law schools. It was created for the purpose of promoting the study and understanding of law between members of the Russian legal academy and the American Legal Academy.  RUSLEF supports a small number of carefully selected students for fellowships at U.S. law schools. While we have had former RUSLEF fellows attend the LL.M. Program in previous years, Ksenia is the first awarded a fellowship for our Program.

Ksenia holds a Master of Laws from The Law of the World Trade Organization, Saint-Petersburg State University, and a Bachelor of Laws from Saint-Petersburg State University. Her professional experience include serving as Legal Counsel to JSCB Intrust Bank, Saint-Petersburg, Russia. Ksenia will join Mark in his work on the School of Laws Global Food & Agriculture International Initiative.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Fulbright Scholar Joins the LL.M. Program

As our Fall classes settle into a routine pattern, it is now time to acknowledge some of the remarkable attorney-students in this year's class and the sponsors that make their participation in our Program possible.

We are delighted to report that the Mark Opanasiuk is the first Fulbright Scholar to attend our Program.  When Mark was selected to for the Fulbright Student Program, our Program was his first program of choice.

Mark is familiar with our Program thanks in part to his colleague at the Inyurpolis Law Firm (ILF) in Kharkiv, Ukraine, LL.M.  Professor Christopher Kelley, who serves as a consultant to the firm. Mark serves as a Junior Associate with the ILF, in its Investment Consulting Department.

Mark is pursuing a Ph.D. from  the Research Institute of State Department and Municipal Government of Academy of Legal Sciences of Ukraine, holds a Master of Laws, diploma cum laude, from the National Law University named after Yaroslav the Wise (NLU), and a Bachelor of Laws, diploma cum laude, from the Nat’l Law University named after Yaroslav the Wise (NLU).  In addition to his studies, Mark will assist LL.M. Professor Christopher Kelley in recruiting additional international students to the LL.M. Program and the law school's Accelerated J.D. Program.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Journal of Food Law & Policy Seeking Submissions

The Journal of Food Law & Policy at the University of Arkansas School of Law is seeking submissions.  There may be space for one more article in the Fall publication, offering a quick turn around on publication. That issue will be going to the publisher in December. Articles for the Spring publication can be submitted anytime this semester.

Over the years, the Journal's student editors and staff have been proud to publish works by some of the most recognized leaders in the food law community. The Journal is an important part of law school's leadership in food law and policy, and we are proud of their accomplishments.

Last Spring, the Journal celebrated its tenth anniversary with a live-streamed symposium featuring Neil Hamilton, Peter Barton Hutt, Michael Roberts, and Susan Schneider.

Submission of articles can be made by direct delivery via e-mail to foodlaw@uark.edu.  This year's Editor in Chief is Kaelin Bowling.  Please include a brief abstract and CV or resume with each submission.  

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Professor Schneider honored among Outstanding Faculty

Dean Stacy Leeds and Professor Susan Schneider
LL.M Program Director Susan Schneider was among the "Outstanding Faculty" honored by Chancellor Dan Ferritor and Ashok Saxena, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. Professor Schneider, the William H. Enfield Professor of Law at the Law School, received the medallion bestowed upon endowed professors in a luncheon ceremony during the first week of classes. 

Thank you to Dean Emeritus and Nathan G. Gordon Professor of Law Cynthia Nance, also honored as an outstanding professor, for capturing some photos from the event.

Professor Schneider with Chancellor Dan Ferritor

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Update: Chicago Urban Ag Project by Diane MacDonald

Over the summer, we posted on the interesting projects completed by the LL.M. candidates in last year's Urban Agriculture: Law & Policy class taught by Professor Nicole Civita. We inadvertently left one excellent project out, and the original blog post has been edited to correct this error.  Diane MacDonald did an excellent job on her project, Food System Assessment: 44th Ward, Chicago, Illinois. We are delighted to call attention to it now.  Congratulations for your good work, Diane.

We are pleased to have this excellent class in our curriculum and delighted with the innovative work our students have done in this emerging area of law and policy.

This class will begin again, September 17, with a record 17 students enrolled -  a mix of face-to-face and distance students participating.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

LL.M. Welcome Party at Amy White's Home

LL.M. Welcome Party, Aug. 20, 2015
We enjoyed a great welcome party for our incoming LL.M. class, hosted at the home of Amy White. Amy is one of our alumni, graduating from the Program in 1999. She now works as Food Safety and Health Manager for Labeling Compliance at Walmart and is active in the Fayetteville community.

The party included members of our incoming class that were able to be in Fayetteville with us, friends and family, and LL.M. and law school faculty.  It was a lovely evening in all respects.  We thank Amy for her gracious hospitality and thank Dean Stacy Leeds and the University of Arkansas School of Law for sponsoring the event.

Alumni News-Trevor FIndley

Trevor Findley, LL.M. 2015
LL.M. Alumnus Trevor Findley was recently appointed as Special Assistant to the Administrator at Risk Management Agency, USDA.

Trevor joins a number of our distinguished alumni who serve the USDA in and out of Washington.  For example, Trevor will work under LL.M Alumni Brandon Willis, Administrator of USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA) and report to Richard Flournoy, Chief of Staff at USDA RMA.

Trevor will be working on projects for the Office of the Administrator, including assistance with appeals and litigation. Trevor reports "I'm excited to work with both Richard and Brandon, and to be working in an area that is becoming an increasingly important part of agricultural policy. There's no doubt in my mind that I wouldn't be here without the practical experience and education provided by the LL.M. program, as well as the Program's alumni network."

For more on Trevor and his experience in the LL.M. Program, check out this short clip from our LL.M. Alumni Mini Series.

Congratulations, Trevor!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

A New LL.M. Year Begins Again

Last week, we introduced our new candidates to the LL.M. Program in Agricultural & Food Law.  We began with a short orientation session where we discussed our course of study, LL.M. Program degree requirements, and our approach to creating an innovative learning environment that nurtures and encourages our candidates to succeed.

After orientation, we were delighted to once again welcome Professor Neil Hamilton back to Arkansas to teach our first Fall semester course - one of our favorite traditions in the LL.M. Program. An Introduction to the Law of Food & Agriculture provides a thought-provoking overview of many of the issues that we will be exploring throughout the year.

Professor Hamilton serves as the Dwight D. Opperman Chair of Law and Professor of Law at Drake University Law School and as the Director of the Drake Agricultural Law Center. His 30-plus years of leadership in agricultural law in the U.S. and abroad allow him to bring unique perspectives to his teaching.  We are always delighted to have him with us.

As usual, the class took a field trip to the Fayetteville Farmer's Market, and this time they had an opportunity to meet and talk with Market Vendor Manager, Teresa Mauer.  Teresa took time out of her very busy morning (the beginning of the Fayetteville Roots Music and Local Food Festival) to provide information to our class and to answer questions.  She was very helpful, and it put our studies into good context. A shout out "thank you" to Teresa! The students spoke with vendors, watched the EBT process in action, and spoke with market customers.

The following slideshow shows captures the spirit of orientation, Professor Hamilton's class and the market.  Our thanks to Yen Nguyen, LL.M. Technology Coordinator, for her photography and the production of this video.

Revolution of Dignity Art Exhibit at School of Law

From August - November 2015, Professor Christopher Kelley has arranged for the School of Law to host the Revolution of Dignity Art Exhibit featuring images from Ukraine's' Maidan 2013-2014. The art created during and after the Revolution of Dignity captures the extraordinary hope, spirit, and promise of great change. For those who were on the Maidan, it stirs recalled emotions that are at once joyous and sad. Brave men and women—some young; some old—died defending the Maidan and what it represented—the beginning of an era when Ukrainians could enjoy the dignity of a people committed to the rule of law.

Ukraine is the largest country located entirely within Europe with a long regionally, culturally, and politically diverse history. It gained its current independence in 1991 when the Soviet Union imploded. Since then, Ukrainians have struggled to gain what seven decades of Soviet rule denied it—the rule of law, which is now guaranteed by Ukraine’s constitution. This struggle has been marked by a series of mass protests, two of which drew prolonged worldwide attention—the Orange Revolution in 2004 and the Revolution of Dignity in 2013-2014. Both “revolutions” reflected Ukrainians’ desire to overcome political and other corruption.

The Revolution of Dignity began on November 21, 2014, as news spread that then-Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych had suspended preparations to sign the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement. This Agreement would have advanced Ukrainian-EU integration and, within Ukraine, European values, including the rule of law. A wave of demonstrations and civil unrest followed, largely centered on Kyiv’s Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square). On November 30, 2013, riot police known as the "Berkut" attacked and injured scores of protesters near the Maidan. This enraged Ukrainians, solidified the Revolution of Dignity, and led to almost three months of massive demonstrations on the Maidan and elsewhere. Before the Revolution ended on February 23, 2014, more than one hundred people had died in the struggle against the government’s repression and corruption. Every Ukrainian was affected by the Revolution of Dignity, though some were threatened by values it embodied, values distinctly different from those encased in Ukraine’s Soviet legacy.

The Maidan witnessed a great explosion of all forms and genres of art, but posters were the most effective and popular. From original satirical works to manipulated images from internet memes, the posters quickly reacted to and documented major developments during the months leading up to the Maidan and while events there escalated until the reign of sniper fire ended.

Curated by Natalia Moussienko and Andriy Sydorenko from the Modern Art Research Institute in Kyiv, the Exhibit was first displayed in Kyiv in September 2014 and is now traveling around the world. The University of Arkansas School of Law is honored to host the Exhibit and is grateful for those who helped bring it to the Law School. Special thanks goes to the Ukraine Fulbright Program, the Kennan Institute, the Modern Art Research Institute, and the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington, D.C.

Pictured from left are LL.M. Candidates
 Mark Opanasiuk and Valeriya Zayets
with Michael Ramirez, and Kim Tomlinson
from the University of Arkansas Art Department
Of special note, this fall the LL.M. Program will be joined by two Ukrainian Candidates, Mark Opanasiuk and Valeriya Zayats. Mark and Valeriya together with the University of Arkansas Art Department installed the Revolution of Dignity. We are especially grateful to Mark and to Valeriya for their part in bringing this exhibit to life.

For more information on the exhibit, please join us on Facebook.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Welcome to the New and Returning LL.M. Class!

We are pleased to welcome the largest LL.M. class ever -  with 21 students enrolled full and part time. They are a fantastic group, and we could not be more proud of their accomplishments.  Their enthusiasm for agricultural and food law studies is inspiring.

Dean Stacy Leeds welcomes the new LL.M. class
Our twelve new face-to-face LL.M. candidates come from Alabama, Arkansas, California, Iowa, Louisiana, Missouri, New York, South Carolina, Ukraine, Russia, and Italy. Over half of the class are experienced attorneys, the others are recent graduates.

Our nine distance candidates are a mix of returning part-time candidates and new candidates (both full and part-time). They will be joining us from California, Colorado, Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan, New Mexico, Texas, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.  Eight are experienced attorneys, and one is recent graduate.

We are proud to once again have distinguished military veterans in the class.

In addition to our degree candidates, we have two law students from other law schools enrolled in our regular semester classes for transfer credit, and we have an Agricultural Economics graduate student taking classes as well.

Photos coming soon as we blog about our introductory class with Professor Neil Hamilton, a special trip to the Fayetteville Farmers Market, and a welcome party at LL.M. alumna, Amy White's house. Stay tuned!

Here are brief bios of our class includes (new and part-time returning):

Face-to-Face Candidates 

J.D., University of Arkansas School of Law
B.S., Psychology, Kansas State University

J.D, Northeastern University School of Law
B.S., Psychology, University of Iowa
Admitted to practice law in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Iowa
Recent professional experience includes: Staff Attorney, General Counsel’s Office, Employers Mutual Casualty Company

Master in Human Develop’t & Food Security, Universita’ Degli Studi Roma Tre
J.D., Loyola University School of Law
B.A., Philosophy, Spelman College
Military Education: Command Staff College, Marine Corps University; Expeditionary Warfare School, Marine Corps University
Admitted to practice law in Louisiana
Recent professional experience includes: Ethics Officer, The International Fund for Agricultural Development, Rome, Italy; Action Officer, Judge Advocate Division, United States Marine Corps

J.D., Vermont Law School
B.A., Sociology, University of Colorado at Boulder
Admitted to the Bar in Massachusetts and Vermont
Recent Professional Experience: VT Statewide Coordinator, Antibiotics for Food & Water Watch

J.D., Georgetown University Law Center (Georgetown Immigration Law Journal)
B.A., Law, Sophia University, Tokyo
Admitted to practice law in New York
Recent professional experience includes: Counsel, Shearman & Sterling LLP, New York, Tokyo

J.D., University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law (McGeorge Law Review)
Oxford University, Summer 2010 Legal Exchange Program
B.A., Legal Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz
Admitted to practice in California
Recent professional experience includes: Adjunct Professor, University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law; Associate, Desmond, Nolan Livaich & Cunningham

Ph.D., Research Institute of State Department and Municipal Government of Academy of Legal Sciences of Ukraine (anticipated)
Master of Laws, diploma cum laude, Nat’l Law University named after Yaroslav the Wise (NLU)
Bachelor of Laws, diploma cum laude, Nat’l Law University named after Yaroslav the Wise (NLU)
Ukrainian Lawyer
Professional experience includes: Junior Associate, Inyurpolis Law Firm (ILF), Investment Consulting Department

Master of Laws, The Law of the World Trade Organization, Saint-Petersburg State University
Bachelor of Laws, Saint-Petersburg State University
Russian Lawyer
Professional experience includes: Legal Counsel, JSCB Intrust Bank

J.D., University of South Carolina School of Law (South Carolina Envtl Law Journal)
B.A., Political Science, Magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, Furman University
Admitted to practice in South Carolina
Professional experience includes: Practice Administrator, John R. Ross M.D., PA; Litigation Associate, Nexsen Pruet, LLC

J.D., University of Missouri School of Law
B.A., English, Southern Illinois University
Admitted to practice law in Missouri
Professional experience includes: Associate, Law Offices  of Edwin W. Orr

J.D., Cumberland School of Law (anticipated 2015)
B.S., in Animal Science (Equine), Auburn University, cum laude

LL.B., Kyiv National Economic University named after Vadym Hetman
Master of Laws, Energy Law, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv
Ukrainian Lawyer
Professional experience includes: Law Consultant, Ukrainian Mining Company, LLC; Law Consultant, Privat Bank

Distance Candidates Include

J.D., University of Denver
M.B.A., Finance, University of Colorado Boulder
B.S., Zoology/Animal Biology, Colorado State University
Admitted to practice law in Colorado
Recent professional experience includes: Of Counsel Attorney (real estate and
land use), Garfield & Hecht, P.C

J.D., Maurer School of Law, Indiana University - Bloomington
M.S., Agricultural and Environmental Chemistry, University of California, Davis
M.S., Finance, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business
B.A., Indiana University, English Literature
B.S., Indiana University, Biochemistry
Admitted to practice law in New York, Texas and Florida
Recent professional experience includes Instructor (Chemistry), in the Department of Chemistry and Life Science, United States Military Academy, West Point; extensive legal experience in military, including legal support to Joint Special Operations Taskforce in Afghanistan

J.D., cum laude, University of New Hampshire School of Law (Pierce Law Review)
B.S., English Literature, Northeastern University
Admitted to practice in Michigan, Massachusetts, New Hampshire
Recent professional experience includes his current position as Of Counsel with Dickinson Wright PLLC in Michigan; Extensive prior experience including Service as Captain in the United States Marine Corps

J.D., University of New Mexico School of Law
B.A., Anthropology, Arizona State University
B.S., American Indian Studies, Arizona State University

LL.M., Employment Law, John Marshall Law School
J.D., Capitol University Law School
Masters of Plant Protection and Pest Management, University of Georgia
B.S., Biology, Georgia College
Admitted to practice in Georgia
Professional experience includes his current position as solo practitioner in Warner Robins, Georgia, prior experience as USDA extension agent and APHIS quarantine officer

J.D., University of San Francisco School of Law
B.A., English Writing & Literature, University of San Diego, Departmental Honors
Professional Experience: Adjunct Professor, California Western School of Law; Admitted to practice law in California
Recent professional experience includes: Attorney, Gilliland & Burgess, APLC; Street Law Instructor & Facilitator, University of San Francisco School of Law

J.D., University of Arkansas School of Law
B.S. B.A., Dual Degrees in Finance and Accounting, University of Arkansas
Admitted to practice in Arkansas
Professional experience includes his current position as Special Advisor, Bureau of Industry and Security, Department of Commerce: former aide to Senator Mark Pryor

J.D., Southern University Law Center
B.S., Business Administration Pre-Law, Louisiana State University
Admitted to practice Law in Louisiana
Recent professional experience includes: Louisiana House of Representatives, District 87; The Law Office of Ebony T. Woodruff Harvey, Louisiana

Saturday, August 29, 2015

LL.M. Alum, Richard Flournoy, Chief of Staff, USDA Risk Management Agency

We are pleased to congratulate Richard Flournoy on his new position as Chief of Staff at USDA - Risk Management Agency (RMA).  Richard serves under fellow alumna, Brandon Willis, the USDA RMA Administrator.

Prior to being Chief of Staff, Richard was tapped to serve as Acting Director of the Appeals and Litigation Staff for USDA RMA. Before that, he served as the Special Assistant to the RMA Administrator.  In that position he served as the liaison between the Administrator and the Deputy Administrators, drafted policy memoranda, responded to congressional inquiries and advised the Administrator.

Before joining RMA, Richard was a USDA, Farm Service Agency Agricultural Program Specialist, serving as Peanut Marketing Assistance Loan/Loan Deficiency Payment Lead, a position he accepted immediately after completing the LL.M. Program.

Richard received his J.D. from Mercer University - Walter F. George School of Law, where he served on the Mercer Law Review.  He received his LL.M. degree in Agricultural & Food Law from our Program in 2011.

We are particularly proud of Richard's good work at USDA and the leadership he provides. We congratulate him on his success.

On a personal note, Richard and Michelle Carney were married this year in Little Rock, Arkansas. Congratulations and best wishes to Richard and Michelle!

Monday, August 24, 2015

In addition to Ag & Food Law - Eugenio Lomba Receives Award

Not all of our graduates find their ultimate career path in agricultural and food law positions. Professional opportunities often come up that take us off the path we initially envisioned.  Eugenio Lomba, an alumnus from Puerto Rico provides a good example.

For the past eight years, Eugenio has served as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations Division (DHS-HSI), detailed to the U.S. Attorneys Office in San Juan. He prosecutes narcotics and money laundering cases with some sporadical civil forfeiture cases as well.

We are proud to report that last December, Eugenio was recognized with the DHS HSI San Juan Prosecutor Award. He is pictured here receiving the award. 

In an email exchange, Eugenio wrote, "I am convinced that my training and the education I received at the University of Arkansas played a significant part in my performance and accomplishments. I am very proud to be an alumni of the LL.M. Program."

Congratulations, Eugenio! We are proud as well of your important work.  

We strive to assure that the education we offer our students has a broad application to a wide range of professional possibilities. 

Sunday, August 23, 2015

LL.M. Candidate Christina Rice Begins Harvard Fellowship

We are very pleased to announce that Christina Rice, LL.M. candidate in last year's class, has just begun her work as a Clinical Fellow in the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic (FLPC), a division of the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation of Harvard Law School.

In this position, Christina will report to Emily Broad Leib, the Director of the FLPC and work with the clinic staff and students on a broad range of international, federal, state, and local policy projects that address the health, environmental, and economic impacts of our food system.

FLPC’s projects fall into four main categories: Food Policy Councils and Food Systems Planning; Food Access and Obesity Prevention; Food Waste; and, Sustainable Food Production.

Christina will serve as the lead attorney on one or more FLPC projects, manage client and partner relationships, work closely with law students enrolled in the clinic, assist in the development of classroom courses in conjunction with the clinic, represent the clinic to local and regional food policy groups and at national conferences, attend to clinic administrative needs, and help to set and implement the vision for the ongoing development and success of the Clinic.

Christina earned her J.D., with honors from Charlotte School of Law and her B.S., in Business Administration & Finance/Accounting from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She will complete her LL.M. degree by finishing her final article this Fall.

We should note that Christina is our second fellow at the Harvard Law FLPC.  She replaces LL.M. alumna Alli Condra, who is now in Oregon practicing in the Portland office of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP.

Congratulations, Christina.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Secretary of Agriculture, Wes Ward featured in Agri Arkansas

LL.M. Alum and Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward featured in Agri Arkansas. 

We are pleased to share that LL.M. Alum Wes Ward, Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture was featured in a recent episode of Agri Arkansas which aired on AETN in late July. If you missed it, you can catch the episode on the AETN Website.

As a Candidate in the LL.M. Program, Wes served as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Arkansas School of Law. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Business from Arkansas State University and a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Arkansas School of Law.  

Ward joined the Marine Corps in 2000 and has deployed to both Afghanistan and Jordan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.  His current reserve unit is the 3rd Civil Affairs Group (CAG) located in Great Lakes, Illinois.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Urban Agriculture Law & Policy 2015 Course Projects

Our Urban Agriculture Law & Policy course, taught by Nicole Civita, explores the legal issues raised by the rising interest in urban agricultural activities. This course surveys the history, contemporary attributes, and varied benefits of urban cultivation. And, it examines the legal dimensions of urban agricultural production, distribution and marketing.  It involves the study of planning, land use, zoning, and resource management law.  It also considers the potential for urban agricultural activities to support community development and food security and examines the work of local food policy counsels and initiatives.

Urban Agricultural Law & Policy was offered for the first time last Fall semester, and the students enrolled conducted a semester-long study of urban agriculture in a city, neighborhood or metropolitan area of their choosing.  They each conducted a high-level food system assessment, audited existing agricultural and food policies, identified areas for reform and advocacy, and proposed a food action plan that balanced the varied interests in their selected region.

Professor Civita was very impressed with the work of her students and arranged for selected projects to be posted publicly, with student permission.  They are linked below.  We hope that the assessments and policy proposals will inspire urban leaders around the country and across the globe.

Diane MacDonald, Candidate, LL.M. Program in Agricultural & Food Law

Anna Dey, Candidate, LL.M. Program in Agricultural & Food Law

Maranda White, Candidate, LL.M. Program in Agricultural & Food Law

An Oasis in a Food Desert: Revitalizing Food Production and Nutrition in the Salt River Valley
Trevor Findley, LL.M., Agricultural & Food Law

Christina Rice, Candidate, LL.M. Program in Agricultural  Food Law

Tiffany Alvoid, Candidate, LL.M. Program in Agricultural & Food Law

Urban Agriculture Law & Policy is offered again this Fall in the LL.M. Program, and we look forward to what interesting projects this year's class will develop.

Alumni News: Mandy Meadors in External Affairs at Southern Power

We are pleased to announce that our J.D. and LL.M. alumna, Mandy (Thomas) Meadors has accepted a project manager position in Southern Power External Affairs office, effective July 29. In this role, she will perform legislative, regulatory, governmental and community affairs activities at state and local levels.  Southern Power is a subsidiary of Southern Company, an American electric utility holding company based in the southern United States. It is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, with executive offices also located in Birmingham, Alabama. The company is currently the 16th largest utility company in the world and the fourth largest in the U.S.

Mandy earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Central Arkansas and both a juris doctor and masters of law degree from the University of Arkansas School of Law. Mandy began her career in Arkansas, where she practiced law for several years, litigating cases before judges and juries, appearing before various governmental entities and advising institutional clients on regulatory issues. In 2012, she relocated to Birmingham and completed a bucket-list item – becoming a chef. She graduated culinary school and worked with Chef Frank Stitt in his nationally renowned restaurant, Highlands Bar & Grill.

We are always proud of the diverse interests and talents of our graduates, and we are delighted to see them achieve professional success.  Many of the skills developed in the LL.M. Program in administrative law, regulatory compliance, and public policy are easily adaptable to a variety of careers.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Nicole Civita: "Resilience: The Food Policy Imperative for a Volatile Future"

Our alumna and professor, Nicole Civita recently published an excellent article in the Environmental Law Reporter, Resilience: The Food Policy Imperative for a Volatile Future45 Envtl. L. Rep. 10,663 (2015).   This article is on the cutting edge of legal analysis on the concept of resilience as applied to food systems and will be certain to spark an important dialogue.

To sustain a growing population on a changing planet, food policies at all levels — community, regional, national, and global — must promote judicious resource use, prioritize stewardship, align with ecosystems, advance social and distributive justice, consider national security, and position us to weather long- and short-term disruptions, both climate change-driven and otherwise. This Comment considers the power of a profuse human population, reviews climate consequences of the way we have been satisfying our food needs, and demonstrates the exigencies of new approaches to withstand the mounting pressures and disruptions assailing agriculture. It offers resilience as an essential organizing imperative for agrifood systems, policies, and laws. In so doing, the Comment explores the nature and value of resilience, outlines the characteristics of resilient food systems, identifies benefits of orienting our food future around resilience, and suggests preliminary steps in the direction of reforming agrifood policy for resilience.
Nicole serves as an Affiliated Professor and the Director of the Food Recovery Project at the University of Arkansas School of Law.  She teaches Urban Agriculture and Food Justice Law & Policy in the LL.M. Program in Agricultural & Food Law.  She is also on the faculty at Sterling College in Vermont and serves as the Assistant Director of the Rian Fried Center for Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems.  She tweets on behalf of the Food Recovery Project @ConserveFood and blogs at FoodRecoveryProject.com.

LL.M. Alum (and author) Mark Cohen: How to Write a Bad Contract

Mark Cohen, one of our LL.M. alumni, is a practicing attorney in Colorado. One of his specialties is legal writing -  good, readable, and clear legal writing -  something that is all to often neglected in contract drafting.  As his law firm's website provides:
My passion is drafting documents and helping clients resolve disputes arising out of documents (or the lack of them). I believe the distinction between litigation and transactional work is often artificial. Business, contract, intellectual property, employment, and real estate litigation are almost always the result of poor drafting, insufficient investigation, or an incomplete negotiation.  I prefer plain English over "Legalese."  Plain English lowers costs, improves productivity, increases credibility, and reduces misunderstandings. . . 
Mark recently published an amusing and very educational satirical article in the Colorado Lawyer, How to Draft A Bad Contract (Aug. 2015). It considers and pokes fun at contract drafting.

The Michigan Bar Journal will be reprinting the article as well.

Last May, Mark was honored by the Colorado State Bar Association for his service on the Editorial Board of The Colorado Lawyer magazine.  See, Alumni Update: Mark Cohen Honored by Colorado State Bar Association (Apr. 20, 2015).  His other publications include two works of fiction, Bluetick Revenge and The Fractal Murders.

Congratulations, Mark. Our alumni are encouraged to send us news from their work so that we can post about their accomplishments!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

2015 Supplement and Website for Food Farming & Sustainability

In 2010, Professor Susan Schneider published the book, Food, Farming, and Sustainability: Readings in Agricultural Law.  The book was designed for use in teaching a law school course in agricultural law but has been useful in a variety of contexts.

With the passage of the 2014 Farm Bill, a new Census of Agriculture, and a host of other recent developments, Professor Schneider has been working on an update. She is pleased to report that the 2015 Supplement is done. This 120 page document is available for free download to anyone interested, whether or not they have purchased the book.  She hopes it will be a helpful resource.

Rather than embedding links in the Supplement, as links change and some documents can be hard to find, Professor Schneider developed a companion website that she will continue to monitor, keeping the links up to date.

The website is at www.FoodFarmingSustainability.com, and the Supplement is available for free download as a pdf on the Resources page.  A new edition of the book will be out in 2016.

food farming sustainability

Friday, July 24, 2015

Nicole Civita Accepts Teaching Position at Sterling College, Continues Affiliation with LL.M. Program

Nicole Civita
Nicole Civita
We are pleased to congratulate our alumna, colleague, and friend, Nicole Civita, for her appointment to the faculty at Sterling College in Vermont.  Nicole will teach in their Sustainable Food Systems curriculum and serve as the Assistant Director of the Rian Fried Center for Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems.

With the school motto of "Working Hands. Working Minds," Sterling College was one of the first U.S. colleges to link a liberal arts education with ecology, outdoor education, and sustainable agriculture. The new Rian Fried Center for Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems furthers this mission.  Nicole's longstanding commitment to the development of a more sustainable food system, combined with her demonstrated academic excellence make her a natural fit for this new position.

Nicole came to the LL.M. Program in August 2012, moving with her family from Los Angeles where she practiced law as an Associate Attorney with Hogan Lovells. Although her practice had been based on employment law, her passion was food law, and our Program served as a critical transition for her.

Following completion of the LL.M. Program, we asked Nicole to stay with us as a Visiting Assistant Professor to help with the launch of our new distance track for the LL.M. Program and the associated expansion of our curriculum. In that role, she helped to design distance courses throughout our curriculum, working closely with our colleagues at the UA Global Campus.  And, she developed and taught our LL.M. courses in Urban Agriculture and Food Justice Law & Policy.  She also took over the leadership of our Food Recovery Project, publishing the widely circulated article, Food Recovery: A Legal Guide, and speaking all over the country at food waste and food recovery conferences.

We are delighted to announce that Nicole will remain connected to our Program as an Affiliated Professor. In that role, she will continue to serve as the Director of the Food Recovery Project and continue to represent us at national legal conferences. She will also teach courses for us via distance, this Fall teaching Urban Agriculture, and teaching Food Justice Law & Policy spring semester.

While we will greatly miss Nicole's regular presence on campus, her new position represents an exciting opportunity for her, and we applaud her success.  We extend our appreciation to her for all of her work in helping us to expand our Program and for her commitment to agricultural and food law excellence.  We wish her great success in her new position at Sterling and look forward to continuing to work with her in furtherance of our efforts here.

Monday, July 20, 2015

John Oliver Highlights Food Waste and our Food Recovery Guide

Screen shot from Last Week Tonight broadcast
We were proud to have Nicole Civita, Director of our Food Recovery Project help to provide background information for the recent segment on food waste that appeared on John Oliver's Show, Last Week Tonight.  And, our project, Food Recovery: a Legal Guide, was featured.

Our work on food recovery and the reduction of food waste has been a critical part of our outreach since we received our first grant from the Women's Giving Center to create the Food Recovery Project and produce the Guide.  James Haley was the Food Recovery Project Research Fellow and wrote A Legal Guide to The Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act.  Affiliated Professor Nicole Civita took over as Director of the Food Recovery Project and produced the guide that Mr. Oliver referenced.  That Guide has now been downloaded nationwide, helping to convince many businesses to donate food rather than discard it.

And, a shout out to our good friend and colleague, Emily Broad Lieb who is interviewed in the Oliver segment, featuring her excellent work with NRDC on the Dating Game: How Confusing Date Labels Lead to Food Waste in America.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

LL.M. Alumni Advancing Homegrown By Heroes Program

Independence Day is a particularly good day to announce an exciting new farmer-veterans initiative spearheaded by two of our LL.M. alumni. We are very proud of their work and the new initiative.

On July 2, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, the Arkansas Agriculture Department and the Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Farmers Veterans Coalition announced the Arkansas Farmer-Veteran Initiative, the Arkansas Grown - Homegrown by Heroes program.

Founded by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, the Homegrown by Heroes program provides a certified labeling opportunity that gives consumers the opportunity to show their recognition and appreciation to veterans by purchasing the agricultural products they raise. The endeavor is now operated by Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC), and it is spreading state-by-state. Arkansas is the latest of more than 40 states that have signed on.

AR Agric. Sec. Wes Ward, Gov. Asa Hutchinson, FVC Counsel, Jason Foscolo
Our LL.M. Alumnus, Jason Foscolo of The Food Law Firm serves as General Counsel and Chief Operations Officer for the FVC and was on hand for the announcement.  Arkansas Agriculture Secretary Wes Ward, another of our alumni, is credited with bringing the program to Arkansas, working with the assistance of the Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs and the support of Governor Hutchinson. We are extremely proud to have these two distinguished Marine Veterans representing our LL.M program.

The Arkansas Grown - Homegrown by Heroes program. is designed to give Arkansas veteran farmers an additional marketing tool, to encourage Veterans to pursue careers in agriculture, and to recruit more Veterans to Arkansas. Because a diverse agriculture is such an important aspect of Arkansas's economy - it has an impact of more than $20 billion annually - there are many opportunities for Veterans in Arkansas agriculture.

The program is open to any veteran and active duty, National Guard or Reserve member. Businesses or operations certified by the Homegrown by Heroes Arkansas Grown label must maintain veteran ownership of 50 percent or more. Businesses must be an approved member of the Arkansas Grown program before certification for use of the merged label.

Program requirements and benefits include:

  • Products certified under the merged label must meet food safety guidelines applicable to their products in the regions in which the products are being distributed and/or sold;
  • The Farmer Veteran Coalition, part of the Homegrown by Heroes program, will work with applicants to determine food safety requirements;
  • The coalition's food-safety experts will help plan and execute food safety measures;
  • Business planning, financial consultation and legal assistance will be provided during and after the certification process.

We encourage everyone to look for the Homegrown by Heroes whenever shopping!  Happy Fourth of July to all, and a special shout of appreciation to our veterans.  

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Alumni News: Adam Soliman

LL.M Alum Adam Soliman joins the Visiting Scholars Program at Harvard Law School 

We are pleased to report that LL.M. Alum Adam Soliman will be joining the Visiting Scholar Program at Harvard Law School during the 2015-2016 academic year. 

While there, Adam will facilitate a series of fisheries law seminars and conduct research on fisheries governance. Through his work at Harvard, Adam hopes to raise awareness on issues limiting access to justice for family and small-scale fishers.

The seminars will focus on fisheries governance, the right to protest in the high seas, fishers safety, transboundary conflicts, seafood safety, and the human rights approach to fisheries management and to spread information on Fisheries Law itself as an emerging academic discipline.

Adam is hosted by the East Asian Legal Studies Program at HLS under the direction of Professor William Alford.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Media Alert: State Agencies to Unveil Farmer-Veteran Initiative

MEDIA ALERT                                                                 

June 29, 2015

Primary Contact: Melissa Lambert
Arkansas Agriculture Department

Additional Contact:Sarah Jones
Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs
Director of Public Affairs

State Agencies to Unveil Farmer-Veteran Initiative
~Homegrown by Heroes to highlight service and Arkansas agriculture

WHO:   The Arkansas Agriculture Department and Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs

WHAT: will hold a joint press conference in the capitol rotunda.

WHEN: July 2, at 2:30 p.m.

WHY:   The purpose of the press conference is to announce a Farmer-Veteran initiative called the Arkansas Homegrown by Heroes program. The program is designed to give Veterans in the agricultural industry an additional marketing tool. The goal of the program is to encourage Veterans to pursue careers in agriculture, and to recruit more Veterans to Arkansas.

The program will help brand the value of Veterans to Arkansas’ workforce and economy, while highlighting Governor Asa Hutchinson’s commitment to both agriculture and Veterans.

Governor Hutchinson will provide remarks at the ceremony. Several Arkansas Veterans will be in attendance showcasing their agricultural products and businesses.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Alumni News: Alli Condra

Congratulations to LL.M. Alum Allison Condra, who recently accepted a position with the Portland office of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP. Alli concentrates her practice on legal, regulatory, and policy issues facing the food, beverage, and restaurant industries. Alli recently completed a fellowship at Harvard Law School’s Food Law and Policy Clinic, where she provided legal and policy counsel to nonprofits and government agencies seeking to increase access to healthy foods and assist producers in accessing local and regional markets. In that capacity, she advised on a wide range of issues, including the Food Safety Modernization Act, cottage food laws, agricultural labor laws, local procurement, urban agriculture, mobile food vending, and food policy advocacy. As a Candidate within the LL.M. Program, Alli was awarded the Marler Clark Graduate Assistantship, serving as a contributor to FoodSafetyNews.com. Congratulations Alli!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Introduction to Chapter 12 Agricultural Bankruptcy

It seems that Spring semester 2015 was particularly busy and went by too quickly. Doesn't it always? I am grateful for the wonderful attorneys we attract to the LL.M. Program, and it is bittersweet to send them on their way.  This year's class was a joy to teach, and I wish them all the successful careers that they surely deserve.
In the flurry of the semester, graduation, and writing projects, I neglected to blog about one particularly satisfying opportunity that arose in March and April. Better late than never . . . 
In mid-March, I was contacted by California attorney, George Hollister, a board member of the Sacramento Valley Bankruptcy Forum, a nonprofit organization in Sacramento, California.  Given the financial pressures facing California farmers, they wanted to include an introduction to Chapter 12 bankruptcy in their upcoming Continuing Legal Education seminar.  Mr. Hollister told me that he had assembled a small panel of speakers, but that they were searching for a suitable outline that summarized Chapter 12 effectively.  He had come across an old article of mine and wished to reprint it. I recalled the article, and I knew it was out of date.  But, what a perfect opportunity to update it.  I offered to do so.

I have always believed that too few attorneys knew the power within Chapter 12 bankruptcy for farmers - as a negotiation tool as well as a reorganization strategy.  With high crop prices and a strong national farm economy, Chapter 12 is sometimes forgotten as an important farm financial tool. But, farm finances are cyclical, and the pressures of climate change and drought are likely to raise bankruptcy's profile once again.  It's important for attorneys to be prepared. So, I viewed this request as an opportunity to update an article that could, once again, be important to a farmer and his or her attorney when confronting farm financial distress.

On April 24, the program was held in Judge Robert Bardwil’s courtroom in the Sacramento Federal Courthouse.  Mr. Hollister reported back to me that it was very well attended and presented, and all expressed appreciation for the materials provided.

I distributed the new article to my Agricultural Business Issues class when I presented on Agricultural Bankruptcy. And, the article has now been published in Arkansas Law Notes, our faculty online publication in service to the bar.

For anyone who is interested in this topic, here is a link to the Arkansas Law Notes publication - Please feel free to pass the word.

Friday, June 5, 2015

LL.M. Alumni: UCLA Resnick Program for Food Law & Policy

Resnick Program for Food Law & Policy
This week, the UCLA Resnick Program for Food Law & Policy released its Winter/Spring Program newsletter.  We are always pleased to see updates from the exciting work that the Resnick Program is doing, as the Executive Director is our alumnus, Michael Roberts.

This newsletter issue also featured  another alumna -  Lauren Bernadett.  Lauren is a UCLA Law graduate, and she is featured in the newsletter's Alumni Spotlight.  She credits Professor Roberts with introducing her to food law & policy and encouraging her to come to our Program to earn her LL.M. in Agricultural and Food law.  After graduating, Lauren returned to California for a fellowship with California Sea Grant, where she focused on California Environmental Quality Act issues, sea level rise policy, and aquaculture.

While a fellow, Lauren proposed, received funding for, and began to develop plans for a symposium on aquaculture law and regulation in California. She notes that "[i]t was an honor to return to UCLA . . . . to host the California Aquaculture Law Symposium, which I planned with the co-sponsorship of the Resnick Program for Food Law and Policy, the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, California Sea Grant, and the National Sea Grant Law Center.  The symposium was held on March 13, and was it was a great success.  It is also featured in the newsletter.

Lauren now works as an attorney with Somach Simmons & Dunn, a Sacramento-based law firm that does environmental and agricultural law work with a focus on water law.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Community Design Center's 'Food City Scenario' Wins Two National Awards

Community Design Center's 'Food City Scenario' Wins Two National Awards

This waste-to-energy facility is part of the award winning Fayetteville 2030: Food City Scenario
By U of A Community Design Center
This waste-to-energy facility is part of the award winning Fayetteville 2030: Food City Scenario
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The University of Arkansas Community Design Center received two new awards for a project that seeks to build food sustainability by promoting local urban agriculture.

The project, Fayetteville 2030: Food City Scenario, won a 2015 Great Places Award in the Planning Category from the Environmental Design Research Association.

It also received a 2015 Green Good Design Award from The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies, and The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design.
The Community Design Center led an interdisciplinary team at the University of Arkansas for Food City Scenario, which speculates on what Fayetteville might look like if the city’s growth integrated local urban food production sustainable enough to create self-sufficiency. Fayetteville’s population of 75,000 is expected to double over the next 20 years. In addition, although the region is the most prosperous in the state, it also has one of the state’s highest child hunger rates.

Food City Scenario is an urban agricultural project that aims to weave agricultural urbanism back into the city environment, with the prospect of helping Fayetteville achieve greater food security and resiliency, said Steve Luoni, director of the Community Design Center and a Distinguished Professor.

Read the full article posted on the UA Newswire.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Professor Kelley in Ukraine

Associate Professor of Law Christoper Kelley returned to Ukraine in May to teach four sessions in legal writing to students at the Yaroslav Mudryi National Law University in Kharkiv, Ukraine, and to colleagues at at the Inyurpolis Law Firm (ILF) in Kharkiv.

Photos from an article posted on the Yaroslav Mudryi National Law website show Professor Kelley meeting with faculty, and being presented with a book by the Rector of the Yaroslav Mudryi National Law University. Professor Kelley will be assisting in the organization of the first summer school for academic credit in the history of Ukrainian legal education. Yaroslav Mudryi was one of the three top law schools in the Soviet Union and remains a top law school in Ukraine today. Professor Kelley also taught two classes at the V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University.

Legal Writing Class, Inyurpolis Law Firm
Legal Writing Class, Yaroslav Mudryi